Whangarei is making it's dent on the worldwide plight of bees.
Internationally the bee population has decreased significantly, which has far reaching effects due to bee's key role in pollination.
Whangarei Bee Club president Kevin Wallace said the particular problems affecting the New Zealand bee population include the varroa mite and use of sprays such as Roundup.
"Wild bees are now a thing of the past, particularly because of the mite."
But local efforts with the club have recently seen the bee population start to replenish.
"Over the last ten years the bees have fallen back but we feel quite confident that we are heading in the right direction," he said.
The club now boasts over 300 members, and had 150 attendees at an introductory seminar recently held in Whangarei for those interested at getting into beekeeping.
"We are a unique club in that we buy the honey from our members, making it commercially viable for them.
"Last year our turnover was $100,000," he said.
The club is also responsible for the Hives in Schools initiative, which is discussed further on page 3.
Club member and Onerahi bee enthusiast Arthur Tucker said over the last few years he had noted a marked decrease in the number of bees in the Whangarei region.
"People have been noticing a decrease of fruit on trees as they are just not getting pollinated.
"35 per cent of pollination was done by wild hives and the varroa mite has wiped wild hives out."
But he sees the population starting to replenish as very positive and still encourages families to consider getting hives in their backyards.
"You're dealing with nature each day and you do develop a bit of a fondness for the bees," he said.
Last month a University of Canterbury ecologist spoke out about the possible massive impact from a bee shortage. on the New Zealand economy.
Ecology professor Jason Tylianakis said New Zealand exports 80 per cent of its food production, and crops such as kiwifruit, clover, apples, canola and honey could suffer as the bee population decreases.
"An agricultural economy like ours depends strongly on pollination, and between 60 and 75 per cent of all food crops require animal pollination," Tylianakis said.
Tylianakis understood the real value of honey bees working about 430,000 hives was worth $5 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.